Daring to pursue the highest possible level in all of life
Click Here to search this site.

Photo ID: 1011307
click image to enlarge
Model: SNJ-5C Registration: N3JC
Year: 1943 Serial Number: 51875
Engine(s): P&W R1340-AN1, 600-HP Owner: Bill Crone
Location: Beach City Airport
Beach City, OH
Photographer: Stoltzfus, Ken
Date: 2003, November Present Registration: Same Present Owner (FAA info):
Notes: : 1/22/04 - Some warbirds are restored with money. Others for love. Bill Crone's incredible SNJ-5C is the latter. The historical info which follows is from Bill's fact sheet on N3JC.

BuNo 51875 was built as an SNJ-5 by North American Aviation in Dallas and was delivered in Sept. 1943. From Aug. '44 until Nov. '45 it was assigned alternately to Naval Air Instrument Training (NAIT), and the Fighter Training Squadron VN4D8, at NAAS Barin Field near Pensacola, FL.

Photo ID: 1011308
click image to enlarge
Notes: In late '45, 51875 was sent to O&R at Chevalier Field (Pensacola) for conversion to the "C" configuration for carrier use. It was now a SNJ-5C. Note the tail hook and the steel shield in front of the tail gear. For obvious reasons the rear fuselage was strengthened at this time.
Photographer: Stoltzfus, Ken

Photo ID: 1011309
click image to enlarge
Notes: Between Jan. '46 and when the aircraft was stricken from the records in June '58, it served in many roles including carrier qualification pilot training, ship-to-shore movement of personnel and parts delivery, pilot proficiency, and Anti-Submarine Warfare from the aircraft carrier Badoeng Strait CVE-116. SNJ-5C, 51875 concluded its military career with 3,032 hours and many carrier landings.

Sam Goldman, of Chesapeake Airways in Salisbury, MD, bought this aircraft, along with about 400 other SNJ's, in 1958. It went through two other owners until Bill bought it, disassembled, in 1989.
Photographer: Stoltzfus, Ken

Photo ID: 1011310
click image to enlarge
Notes: Bill started work in Dec. '90 and completed the project 2-1/2 years later. Every part was removed, stripped, repaired and repainted in a meticulous restoration process. This is one of the finest, most authentic SNJ's you will find anywhere.
Photographer: Stoltzfus, Ken

Photo ID: 1011311
click image to enlarge
Notes: The cowl and wing guns are Browning AN M3, 30-caliber machine guns, as original. They fire live ammunition at the rate of 1,350 rounds/minute. The gun on top, right behind the engine, is synchronized with the engine to fire between the blades as the engine turns. For air shows Bill uses wooden blanks in the guns.
Photographer: Stoltzfus, Ken

Photo ID: 1011312
click image to enlarge
Notes: Bill Crone, master aircraft builder, restorer and pilot. He has built several aircraft, restored several more, flies a beautiful Stearman in addition to the SNJ, and is presently restoring three Army Hughes TH-55's to "better than new" condition. He is one of those guys who freely shares what he knows, and has, with others. Many people have benefited from his expertise and kindness. Our world needs a lot more like him.
Photographer: Stoltzfus, Ken

Photo ID: 1011313
click image to enlarge
Notes: The front cockpit shows Bill's commitment to detail, and to restoring this aircraft to its original configuration.
Photographer: Stoltzfus, Ken

Photo ID: 1011314
click image to enlarge
Notes: Rear cockpit. The top profile of the instrument panel and glare shield limit visibility from the rear seat. Becoming competent in the back seat of a T-6/SNJ, has been the precursor to moving into the "big iron" for many pilots. The SNJ-6 and T-6G have an instrument panel design which affords somewhat better visibility.

A guy like Bill Crone needs a very patient and understanding wife. Jacquie Crone is such a woman, and this aircraft is registered N3JC in her honor. In his info sheet on the aircraft, Bill expresses appreciation to her, and to his father, "who taught me the many skills necessary to complete a project of this magnitude, and that if something is worth doing, it is worth doing right. Thanks, Dad!" That is an increasingly rare "Dad thing", isn't it?!
Photographer: Stoltzfus, Ken
www.FlyingHigher.net -
North American Models

O-47B, NA-25




XP-82, P-82, F-82

How May I Help?
Email Ken
Tell A Friend
Flying Higher Series (Order) | Photos and Facts | The View From Up Life's Path | Snippets From The Good Book | Poetry and Piety | 9-11, Prophetic | Site Map | Home | About Us
2003-2007 Ken Stoltzfus